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#1
As I think I have mentioned in other threads, my step-son is quite keen on the Jim Root Telecaster. He has a birthday coming up next month but as he's not really a guitarist we felt the price of the real thing (even the Squire) was a bit steep, so I'm going to build a look-alike.

Over this past week parts have been slowly arriving and yesterday I made a start.



Parts List
Body - 2 piece poplar (tulipwood)
Neck - CN special tele-style w/rosewood board
Pickups - Iron Gear Hot Slag/Rolling Mill set
Bridge - Hardtail string through
Switch - 3-way blade
Controls - 1 volume
Finish - Matt/satin white

I get most of my hardware from Axetec.co.uk and AxesRUs.co.uk, with the exception of body blanks and necks and the odd peculiar special item - in this case, pickup covers.

Clearly I am going for looks rather than accurate specification. I was initially hoping to pick up a prerouted body as well, to make this a proper kit build, but as it's not a standard Telecaster format I couldn't find one suitable. I know I could have one made to order but that starts pushing the price up and I'm perfectly capable of making it myself so I got a nice two-piece body blank.



Almost seems a shame to be painting it.

Having done a few of these now, I've realised that I don't need to go to the trouble of doing a full design in 3D CAD like I used to do; especially for what should be a straightfoward build like this one. I now find a decent source image for what I'm building, trace over it in Inkscape and scale it to the right size to be printed off for templates.

This time around I also had a bit of perspex knocking about so I thought I'd make a decent humbucker template. It's quite likely that it'll come in handy again in the future.





I only have an A4 printer so I have to print my template in bits and piece it together. This week I learned that my printer (or Inkscape, I don't know which) scales slightly differently in landscape and portrait orientations, so I have to make sure all the parts are printed in the same orientation. These are then spray mounted onto MDF for the template.



I have previously used fairy hefty MDF for my templates - 10-12mm - but I'm only using 6mm this time. It's easier to work with and thick enough for the router bit to follow. I rough cut on the bandsaw...



...(I have a bandsaw now! ) and then finish it by hand.



Alert readers will have noticed that last picture is a different template. That's because in my excitement I failed to check the dimensions of the neck heel and it wasn't quite wide enough (or centred properly) so I had no choice but to make another one.

I've used the old template for the control cavity templates.



I'm not convinced I'll be going with this cavity shape yet. I may try and make it more in line with the real thing. It really depends what I have left to make the cover after I've made the pick guard. Another joy of the non-standard Tele format is not being able to pick up an off-the-rack pick guard.

Last night I glued the body blank together.



And that's where I'm at.
#2
Today's progress: shaping the body.

Rough cut on the bandsaw.



Template screwed on where the pickups are going to be.



A couple of passes with the router.



Now the template can come off so I can get deeper.



The final cut is made with the body flipped over using a bottom bearing flush cut bit.



All ready for the hours of sanding that will be required to get the surface prepped.
#3
Someone's being a cool dad!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Someone's being a cool dad!
Well, I'd like to think so but I'm not sure such a thing exists in the mind of a 13 year-old.
Quote by Turanator
I'm sure he gonna like it.Looks cool
But, yes, he probably will. And if he doesn't I'll reclaim it for my collection.

Busy day today.

Routing the neck pocket. I make a new template for every neck by tracing it and then finishing the template by hand until it's a snug fit on the neck.



That thin wall on the treble side is unintentional, but I think I might keep it.



Back in the day, when this forum was awash with build threads, there'd be plenty of pictures like this; showing off what a good fit your neck joint is.



You can't rely on the fret markers in these cheap Chinese necks to be in the middle, but that's not looking too bad.



PIckup cavities routed. Control holes drilled (all the way through so I can see where to rout the control cavity on the back) and string holes drilled.



Making sure the string ferrules are in a stright line. That little drill press adapter is an excellent bit of kit.



Edges rounded over, now for the belly carve. Doing this makes me cringe...



...but it usually works out in the end.



Control cavity. Had to go a little deeper for the blade switch. I just freehanded that bit.



Need a hole to feed the pickup wires through. I prefer this method over trying to do an angled hole between the two pickup cavities.



And the body's done.



All but routing the recess for the control cavity cover, but I realised I'm going to have to make that template in some thicker stock to allow me to make a shallow cut with my 12mm template follower bit.
#7
That's some really speedy work on the body!

You've got to love the tight neck fit tests, where there's clearly no room for glue or expansion of the wood when the glue soaks in  

PS. How are you finding the poplar dust? I had an awful reaction to it a few years back.
Last edited by -MintSauce- at Aug 21, 2017,
#8
Quote by Ippon
That looks really clean! More pics!
A million pics are not enough for Ippon!

And I deliberately post low resolution cellphone pics so you can't see all the ropy bits.

In truth, this has been going quite well so far. The poplar seems a bit fibrous and 'chewy' and the grain has pulled out in a few places. But nothing that can't be sanded out or smoothed over with a bit of filler (I am painting it). And I did tear a chunk out of one of the horns but it superglued back in seamlessly. Maybe I should treat myself to some new router bits.

Quote by -MintSauce-
That's some really speedy work on the body!
Well my weekend was fairly free, so I actually put around 12-16 hours in. Besides, speedy isn't always good, as I am about to demonstrate.

Quote by -MintSauce-
You've got to love the tight neck fit tests, where there's clearly no room for glue or expansion of the wood when the glue soaks in
Good thing this is a bolt-on then.

Just to finish off the routing I got the cavity cover recess done. Nowt wrong wi' that. Except the over-exposure.



I've not had to make my own pick guard before and I was really impressed with how well my plan of screwing it on top of the template and using the chamfer cutter router bit to cut it out went.



But it's not always wise to go striding off into unknown territory without first having a bit of a think and a plan. Then again, this wouldn't seem like one of my builds if there wasn't a hiccup along the way.

So now I've got to make some cut-outs for the pickups. "Easy," thinks I, "I'll just screw it onto the body and rout around the pickup cavities. Job's a good 'un."



Who can see what's wrong with this plan? Yes, well so could I about 8 seconds after doing it; I've routed into the 'ears' where the pickup mounts go and there needs to be pick guard there to mount the pickups onto. I have two options:

1. Get another pick guard blank and make another.
2. Use a pickup ring.

(1) Is a bit pricey and will take time. Also, it took me quite a while to find a supplier of pick guard blanks in this country (i.e. doesn't take 2-3 months to arrive) at a price I'm willing to pay. I still think ten quid for a square foot of plastic is a bit keen but maybe that's my fault for searching for 'pick guard blank' instead of 'black plastic'. Also, they now seem to be out of stock of the 3mm and I feel 2mm will be a little too flimsy.
(2) Is workable except for the fact that the corner of the pickup ring is going to interfere with one of the pick guard mounting screws. I'm also debating whether to mount the ring on top of the pick guard (which mitigates the screw problem somewhat) or set it in (which I think would look better).

Ideally I should be trying again with more care, but do I have time?



So after all that, to console myself I made the cavity cover which took about 90 seconds on my lovely new bandsaw and went perfectly.




Quote by -MintSauce-
PS. How are you finding the poplar dust? I had an awful reaction to it a few years back.
No problems so far - touch wood - although I did wonder if my sinuses were a little irritated.
#10
I wish I had a dad/stepdad who would have built me guitars.

Looks awesome! Can't wait to see it finished.

Iron Gear pickups are the tits.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#12
Only a quick update today. There's not much going on, really.

I'm going ahead with the second pickup ring plan, but I have also ordered another 'bit of plastic' (for half the price) and I'll try and make a better job of the next one.



Although the balance of the two pickup rings does appeal to me. I'd stick with this but you can see the issue with the pick guard screw.



Primed.

#13
Hmmmm maybe you should start building guitars as a hobby/second income? You seem very good at it!
Legend.
#14
Lord_Westwood : This is sixth guitar I have built so it's definitely a hobby and I have reached a certain level of competence but so far as a secondary income is concerned I'm afraid the sad truth is that people generally aren't willing to even pay the cost of parts for a guitar built by an unknown amatuer, never mind the many hours of labour that goes into it. Plus, I'm still nowhere near professional quality.

At one point I thought I might be able to make a bit of pocket money by picking up 'project' guitars off eBay, finishing them off and selling them on. I got myself a good Vintage brand VS6 (SG) body and neck (Vintage make nice, reasonably priced guitars) that should have been a simple case of loading up with new hardware but by the time you've bought pickups, tuners, bridge, electrics, pick guard and refinished it the costs have outstripped what you can pick up a second-hand one for, and at this end of the market the fact that the one you're selling is basically 'upgraded' doesn't really cut the mustard.

Aaanyhoo...

Here's another amusing anecdote about pickguard blanks.

The first 'pick guard blank' I bought from eBay was 30cm x 30cm x 3mm at a cost of £9.50. That works out at about £0.011/cm2. As I mentioned in a previous post, having stuffed up that one I went back to get another but found they were 'out of stock'. So this time I just searched for '3mm black plactic sheet' and found an A4 piece (21cm x 30cm x 3mm) for £4.30. That's £0.007/cm2 - 36% cheaper. And I wasn't really paying attention, but it's just been delivered and I see it is exactly the same stuff from the same supplier!

There's a lesson here, kids: the word 'guitar' in the description gives you carte blanche to inflate the ticket price.

Routing the pick guard makes a bit of mess. All statically charged and clingy, too.



But we now have a much better pick guard.



Adding the base coat to the body highlights all the areas that aren't quite as smooth as you thought they were so there's a bit more sanding to do (there always is).
#19
I am totally enjoying this build, I can't wait to see the finished product. A little curious, are you going to tune to standard E or down tune like Jim?
Quote by DQcrewmember
how do you ban people from posting in your threads?

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You don't

Quote by Zaphikh
"Why are we here?"


"Plastic... asshole."
Last edited by drunkseph at Aug 25, 2017,
#20
Quote by drunkseph
I am totally enjoying this build, I can't wait to see the finished product. A little curious, are you going to tune to standard E or down tune like Jim?
Well he'll mostly be playing it with his jazz band at school so it'll be in standard. I don't think he'll be sporting a boiler suit and mask either.
#21
Quote by von Layzonfon
Yes. In fact, you could ask yourself, "How much more black could it be?" And the answer would be, none. None more black.

At least you've satisfied Ippon 's usual request of "Build a Tele"!
#22
For a change we've had a glorious Bank Holiday weekend over here in the UK, during which I got very little done.

I have now put 3 cans of primer on it. About a dozen coats. When it's finished it looks like this.



But a light rub down with 800 grit wet & dry gives me exactly the finish I'm after. So I'm currently looking into whether I can leave it at that or if I need to put a proper top coat on. If it looks like it's going to keep rubbing off then a top coat is definitely in order. At which point do I look for a suitable matt white, or just a clear?
#23
von Layzonfon, I'd rather be conservative and spray the White colorcoat then the Satin clearcoat instead of just leaving it as is.  At the very least, spray the Satin clearcoat to help prevent rub outs. 

OTOH, rub outs here and there, as in relicked, might be something your kid prefers.
#25
Progress is being made, there's just not much to show for it. More coats of white paint. But we're nearly there now, so here's a quick fit-up teaser.



The actual model has an 'ebony' fretboard so I have some leather dye on the way. Once that's done I think we're in the business of putting it together.

Much kudos to Black Dog Music (.co.uk) as I keep coming across things that I either forgot or need black versions of and so far they've been the only place I've found that's had them all. I've ordered a string tree, switch mounting screws and pickup mounting screws in three seperate orders and they're still sending a free plectrum with each one.
#26
Quote by von Layzonfon
Progress is being made, there's just not much to show for it.  More coats of white paint.  But we're nearly there now, so here's a quick fit-up teaser.

The actual model has an 'ebony' fretboard so I have some leather dye on the way.  Once that's done I think we're in the business of putting it together.

Much kudos to Black Dog Music (.co.uk) as I keep coming across things that I either forgot or need black versions of and so far they've been the only place I've found that's had them all.  I've ordered a string tree, switch mounting screws and pickup mounting screws in three seperate orders and they're still sending a free plectrum with each one.

Nice work again! Black Dog Music and CH Guitars are great for getting ods and sods in different colours. The only thing I've never been able to find is top-of-body string ferrules for a string-through in cosmo black. Impossible!
#28
Today the postie brought me some Fiebing's leather dye which seems to be the de facto recommendation for darkening fretboards.



I estimate there's enough in that bottle to do about 500 fretboards. I was cleaning up the marker dots with white spirit as I went, but I'm pretty certain they would've wiped clean anyway.



And while I was on the neck I did a quick level and polish. A sensible person might have done this before staining but once again my excitement at the prospect of doing something different got the better of me.



Oh, and THRobinson might be interested to know I use a length of 'C' profile aluminium extrusion with 1200 grit wet and dry spray mounted to it for levelling.
#29
Looks amazing. I always enjoy build threads, it seems like there aren't as many as there used to be.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#30
Quote by bobafettacheese
Looks amazing. I always enjoy build threads, it seems like there aren't as many as there used to be.
I know. It's a shame. I used to love the annual build competitions.
#32
Quote by von Layzonfon
I know. It's a shame. I used to love the annual build competitions.

Quote by Ippon
Time to start the build competitions again!

If it's an annual build competition, you should allow everyone twelve months to reach completion! I still haven't finished the one I started for 2012's competition. It's in a roof somewhere  One day build threads might be as popular as pickup swaps...
#35
in the long run mate, at least the boy will keep it for the rest of his life. Even if he progresses and gets his hands on the good stuff later on, I can almost say for sure he will never get rid of the guitar his Pop's hand made for him. Be proud of that fact.
#37
As is often the way there's a bit of a hiatus and then it suddenly all comes together. In any case it absolutely has to be finished by Friday. This final installment covers the last week or so where I didn't do very much.

First up, I routed the tiny little recesses and superglued the magnets into the control cavity/cover.



-MintSauce- mentioned 'daft obstacles' in his build thread. Well, I've had a few recently.

First up, the black pickup mounting screws I got turned out to be the wrong size. Fortunately they're slightly too big, so rather than trying to find some different ones, waiting for them to arrive and hoping they'll be right I nipped down to ScrewFix (local DIY/tool store) and bought a dreadfully cheap tap and die set. They did the job and you never know, I might find a use for them elsewhere.

Next, the conductive shield paint would not stick to the overspray in the cavities. I could try skimming them all with a router but quite honestly this finish is dreadful; it collects grubby fingerprints really easily and it seems to be quite delicate. I would put a clear coat on but I'm concerned it might not look quite right, so I'm just handling it with kid gloves - and that includes not letting a router anywhere near it.
So I've left the cavities unshielded. If it turns out to be noisy then I'll see about getting some copper tape or something.

Finally, when I put it all together and started stringing it up there was zero action. I'm fairly sure my measurements were okay, so this was a bit odd. On closer inspection, I hadn't allowed for the fretboard overhang and the scratchplate was lifting the bottom of the neck a few millimeters. So I had to take the scratchplate off again, which meant a fair bit of disassembly, but a couple of minutes with the Dremmel sorted it.

So we're all done.

#39
I still have a couple of lumps of spalted beech lying around, so there's plenty of temptation, but the next thing I intend to do is practice building necks. I've bought a fret saw and a truss rod so I need to make some jigs and templates and start hacking up some cheap lumber.
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